Pastors' Corner

So, what is Confirmation, anyway?

As you may have been reading in previous newsletters, the youth at HoC have
been going through a confirmation class. After completion of the class, the students made
the decision to get confirmed and join our church as active members. But, you may be
thinking, what is confirmation anyway? What does it mean to get confirmed? In Christian
tradition, confirmation is the sealing of the covenant created in baptism. (A covenant is a
special, binding relationship between two parties, often where each party makes promises
to do certain things as part of the relationship). Baptism is a sacrament of initiation into
the body of Christ. In baptism, a person is sprinkled with water as a sign of cleansing from
sin, dying to an old, sinful way of life, and entering a new life in Jesus Christ.

In Presbyterian tradition, we baptize infants as an acknowledgement that they are part of the covenant of faith. The parents profess faith on behalf of the child, and they promise to raise the child in the faith until the child can make his or her own profession of faith. The church also promises to help instruct the child in the faith. At confirmation, a young person (usually around middle or high school age, though it can be any age), receives specific instruction in the faith with the goal of helping the youth make their own profession of faith.

When a young person decides to make their own profession of faith, they are confirming the faith in which they were raised. That is, they are accepting the faith in which they were raised as their own. When youth are confirmed, they publically make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. If they had not been previously baptized, they receive the sacrament of baptism. If they had been baptized as infants, they reaffirm the baptismal covenant promises that were made on their behalf by their parents and the local church. They publically reject evil and sin, and turn toward Jesus Christ, acknowledging Jesus as Lord of their life. The youth then become a member of the local church, because by being confirmed, they are recognizing that they are part of the body of Christ. They
agree to live out their faith as part of the body of Christ through active worship and service in a local church.

Confirmation is a special time in the life of young people who make their own profession of faith and
become part of a local church. Confirmation is a continuation of the faith journey that began at baptism and continues throughout their whole lives. Confirmation is an opportunity to celebrate the youth of our church and their decision to make a public profession of faith. It is also a time to remember our own baptismal covenant and the faith we profess in Jesus Christ. It is a time to recommit ourselves to greater spiritual growth and discipleship.

May you remember your baptism and be thankful!



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